If you caught my last Wedding Wednesday post, I shared many of the great locations for portrait sessions in the Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette and surrounding areas. Today, I’m addressing an even more important aspect of scheduling your session: the time! The most unglamorous location can look STUNNING at the right time of day (and vice-versa.)
So what is the right time? Golden hour! Which is the hour (or two) before sunset, where the light is, well – golden – and softer, so no one will be rocking the squinty-eyed look that always happens at high noon. This means in the summertime, our sessions can be pretty late, as the sunset isn’t until about 8 o’clock! The only problem with that is, lots of gorgeous venues around here (think Rural Life Museum, 99% of the plantation houses) all close promptly at 5 p.m.!
My suggestion when deciding on a session location is to first: figure out what time sunset will be on the day of your session. A quick Google search of “sunset August 1 Baton Rouge” will tell you instantly! Then just back up two hours for our session start time. So if sunset is at 7 p.m., we’ll need to start at 5 p.m. to be able to take advantage of that great light!
Then, pick two or three places and reach out to them to see if it’s possible to stay until just before sunset, because that is the time that will give you the dreamiest soft golden light that makes for stunning portraits!
If all else fails, sometimes the absolute BEST portrait spot is just the simplest – a plain ole field. There’s something about the way tall, grown up grass and wildflowers positively GLOW at golden hour. Y’all are going to think I’m nuts, but driving around I’m always on the lookout for a new session location. And it never fails, the most beautiful spots that catch my eye are the sides of the interstate right before sunset! (If you don’t believe me – pay attention on your drive home from work tomorrow!) Unfortunately, 18-wheelers buzzing by don’t really set the tone for the ideal romantic engagement session. Womp womp. So I definitely encourage you to get creative when picking a location for your session – maybe there’s a gorgeous field that you have access to through a family member or friend. Not only will you not have to stress about missing golden hour, but you’ll have some unique and stunning golden light portraits!
Another option, which isn’t always feasible, and depends on the month you’re getting married: you can try to schedule your session outside of Daylight Savings Time, in the winter and early spring when the sun sets much earlier. Plus it’s not QUITE as hot and humid. Close, but not quite. (Hey, this is Louisiana we’re talking about here…I’m pretty sure I’ve worn shorts on Christmas Day the past few years…)
Anyways, I hoped this helps some of you when it comes to planning your engagement or bridal session, and gives you an idea of what to expect! Have a fabulous rest of the week, friends!